Friday, February 23, 2018

Black Panther is the greatest movie of all time

Black Panther (BP). So hyped I thought it was going to be impossible for it to live up. For the most part it does. It's a super solid movie and is at worst a top three Marvel Cinematic Universe film. I'd put it at second behind Ragnarok and just ahead of the first Guardians movie. Dope but not perfect, basically. But culturally it is what we need, or at least that is my unoriginal take.

Fake news
Forever it's been the unspoken rule that black movies don't sell. Just like R-rated superhero movies would sell tickets before Deadpool.  This became the spoken rule when the Sony leaks came out. But it's the foreign audience that is racist... Right... But here we are.  With this dope black movie that is fucking crushing it. Right time? Right circumstances? Definitely. Yeah, what we need. Also a dope movie in a kick ass universe. Hopefully studios learn the right lesson here which I shan't get into.

Just stop
The dumbest shit I've seen said about this movie is from fucking Breitbart which I shant link to (ever). At first the right said it sucked. Created Facebook events to flood Rotten Tomatoes with negative reviews to tank the audience score and shit. This was the alt-right reaction to what they call "social justice warriors" or SJWs. When that didn't work they took to condescending everybody with their "hey black people, Wakanda does not exist." No fucking shit. No one fucking thinks that. Gotham, Metropolis, Atlantis. No one believes they exist either. When Justice League came out no one said anything like this. Shit is racist. Now, typically, they are claiming as their own which is fucking absurd. The dumbshit at Breitbart in "The Movie’s Hero Is Trump, the Villain Is Black Lives Matter" trolls us with shit like "If T’Challa is Trump, Killmonger is Black Lives Matter. Did I just write that? Yes. I. Did." At first I thought he had only watched the first half of the movie because T'Challa abandons his isolationist philosophies but then we get this shit: "By the end of the movie, T’Challa is even more like Trump inasmuch as he sees that his country of Wakanda cannot completely isolate itself from the world because he has a moral responsibility to help others," and "if T’Challa were a left-wing Democrat — a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton — he would oppose bringing people together." What's that now? This has to be a fucking joke. Not funny though. And the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.

Pros: Story is fucking dope. Get some vegetarian representation, finally (though that character does make a joke about feeding a dude to his kids ["JK. We don't eat meat."] which was sardonic and hilarious). The cast is sick.

Cons: The action is meh, like always. Every movie is Some of the CGI was shockingly bad. Like in the scene during the big battle near the end when BP tackles a rhino I laughed out loud it looked like such shit. It was worse than anything in the Lord of the Rings movies from 15 years ago. Definitely the worst CGI I've seen in a MCU flick.

To start, if there is hot black actor in a show or a movie you've seen in the last couple years, they are probably in this movie. Got Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther. Was James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson. Lot of sweet historical roles there. Michael B. Jordan who was Creed in Creed, Wallace in The Wire, and QB1 in Friday Night Lights, is Killmonger (or as I call him, Murdergasm), the main villain dude. Lupita Nyong'o who was in 12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Forece Awakens, and The Jungle Book is one of the female leads/love interest, Danai Gurira who is Michone in The Walking Dead, Daniel Kaluuya who is the main dude in Get Out, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker who need no introduction are in it, as is Sterling K. Brown from This is Us and played Christopher Darden in American Crime Story. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis (who was really dope) are the white dudes that are also in the movie.

The films gives us T'Challa who rises from prince to king--which comes with the perk of receiving the powers of the Black Panther--of the technologically advanced isolationist nation state of Wakanda. As seen in Captain America: Civil War, the previous king, T'Challa's old man, was killed in a terrorist attack. After a brief reign on the throne, Killmonger, T'Challa's cousin who's dad (T'Challa's paternal uncle), seizes power with the intention of using Wakanda's tech to cause worldwide uprisings for oppressed peoples (he isn't wrong but is sort of a total asshole [with his {spoiler} dying breath he basically tells T'Challa "You still a slave, bitch" but much more eloquently). Shit then hits the old fan.

Two things I've been focusing on with this movie--one of which came up in conversation while the other came up in a podcast--were how his suit works and vibranium as a metaphor for culture. The suit comes out of the dueling black panthers' necklaces. It sort of engulfs them. But late in the movie, at a point when the vibranium that they run on is neutralized, we sort of see the suit pealing off sort of thing where we get bare skin. So are they naked underneath that? Are their clothes like stuffed in those little teeth on the necklace? How are they clothed when the suit completely disappears? So forth. The vibranium as a metaphor for culture is the hottest take I've heard on the movie. Heard it on the podcast The Daily Zeitgeist. The guest was talking about an African friend of his who came up with this. Slick viewing, this guy. This guy says vibranium is "a treasure trove of artistic and spiritual resources that, like Wakanda, are 'hiding in plain sight'-- disdained by whites, but also always at risk of being exploited by them." So basically look for academic study on this film in the future (which I'm totally into).

Only thing I can really shit on besides the CGI are the weapons that Okoye (Gurira) and Shuri (T'Challa's sister who is played by Letitia Wright and is like a super genius) use in the battle scenes. Okoye has these magic frisbee golf  discs while Shuri has these lame wizard hands that shoot concussion blasts of vibranium. Shit is whack. But, yeah, other than that shit is dope. You should watch it as it is the greatest movie of all time.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is the greatest movie of all time

Here we go. The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Played at the IU Cinema, best place to see a movie, last month. Horrorish I'd say. An extremely uncomfortable film that was beautifully done, darkly humorous, and while I'd recommend watching it, doubt that anyone, including myself will be watching it a second time. So I'm gonna call it the greatest movie of all time but I did not like watching it at all.

The film follows a cardiac surgeon played by Colin Farrell who secretly befriends a teenage boy. He introduces the boy to his family, who then fall mysteriously ill. The boy reveals that this is revenge for the doctor killing his father on the operating table three years earlier and it will only end with the death of a family member, a decision he must make. But it is also a sort of a comedy. Totally strange bummer of a flick that made me LOL twice(ish).

Pros: Performances are sold (especially from the creepy murder boy). The story is interesting and stressful in a good way. Surprisingly funny for a movie about a guy who has to kill someone in his family.

Cons: Uncomfortable in so many ways the worst coming off the hypothetical (obviously). The ending is garbage and there are no consequences for anyone.

Notes: It's supposed to have allusions to Greek mythology or whatever, I know more about the subject than most and didn't pick up on that shit, but ain't nobody got time for that. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, a Greek, I'm guessing, the film is based on the play Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides which I am unfamiliar. You can look that shit up if you want.

Don't care what he says, only a psycho eats spaghetti this way
The film stars Farrell as the heart surgeon/psycho dad, Nicole Kidman as his eye doctor wife, Barry Keoghan as the creepy-ass kid (Martin, who eats basketti like a psycho but thinks it's the way everyone eats it and makes a speech about it) with the dead dad, magic powers, and Robert Durst eyes, and Raffey Cassidy and Sunny Suljic and the daughter and son respectively. Alicia Silverstone also makes an appearance as Keoghan's mom at an extremely strange dinner with Farrell and Keoghan where she just sort of starts randomly sucking on Farrell's hand, which he is not into. Yeah, it's that kind of movie.

Silverstone, still looking fly
Movie starts with Farrell and Keoghan meeting at a diner. Farrell has sort of taken the boy under his wing and is sort of a mentor, I guess. Later we see him buying him an expensive watch as a present. They meet in secret at first but then Farrell invites the kid over to meet his family and have dinner. He lies to his wife and colleague at the hospital, an anesthesiologist, about how he knows the kid. I think it is pretty safe to say that everyone universally at this point thinks Farrell is fucking that kid. Turns out he is not. He just killed his dad—by accident—when he came in for surgery. Farrell was maybe drinking but didn't have more than a drink so that isn't supposed to factor into it. But this holds a grudge, if you can call it that, and wants to even the score. Dude took a member of his family. Now dude has to take a member of his own family. Through in a bunch of weirdness and that is the movie. But the weirdness is what makes the movie.

Some of said weirdness. Farrell and his wife have some weird shit going on sexually where Kidman pretty much pretends to be a corpse and Farrell does her. This gets even more fucked when he is thinking about killing her and was one of the many things in the movie that was hard to watch (there is also some child torturing which I shan't get into).

Basically all of the dialogue from every character is completely deadpan no matter what is going on which provides much of the film's dark humor. Like when the girl keeps losing her MP3 player and asks her brother if she can have his when he is dead in a couple of days. Or when the boy starts bleeding from his eyes and she yells, “dad, Bob is dying,” the way one would yell about say burning popcorn or something. Or when everyone, including the girl herself, keeps announcing in casual conversation that the daughter has just had her first period. It's that kind of movie.
Bob, dying with his MP3 player

In the end one person dies and everything goes back to normal—which again, not normal—and they just ignore all the insanity that went down. The outcome is just something everyone accepts and just moves on from. Murder, no big.

So yeah, solid movie. Weird as shit. No real consequences. Pretty unsettling. That about covers it.